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Loop uses two variables to describe their fly fishing rods giving you the means of comparing rods and we have compiled a Fly Rods Guide to assist you when choosing the fly rod that best matches your requirements.
The two types are Rod Tempo and Rod Action Curve
The Rod Tempo describes how fast and stiff a rod is:-
M = Medium:- A rod with a medium tempo is perceived as being softer and more relaxed in tempo when compared to MF and F.
MF = Medium Fast:- A rod with a medium fast tempo is a bit more moderate in stiffness and tempo than F but is faster and stiffer than an M
F = Fast:- A rod with a fast tempo is perceived as being fast and stiff by comparison to both the MF and M
The Action Curve describes how the rod bends when it is loaded:-
FC = Full Curve:- Rods with this curve have a long and deep action curve commonly called a “Full Action Curve”
MC = Mid Curve:- Rods with a “Medium Action Curve”
TC = Tip Curve:- Rods with this curve have a high action angle in the tip known as a “Tip Action Curve”
If there are three rods with the same Rod Tempo but with three different Action Curves, then the rod with a TC curve will be perceived to be faster than the other two. When the two values are put together we sometimes add either a + or – sign to denote slight variations in stiffness between rods with the same rod tempo.
By way of further example, if you were looking for a 5-weight, 9’ rod then there you have a choice:-
Loop Yellow Line 590-3/M/FC:- The M means the rod has a moderate or medium tempo, nearly in the middle of the range. FC indicates the rod has a long and deep action curve giving you a rod that is smooth, comfortable and which loads easily.
Multi 590-4/M+/MC:- The M+ tells you that this rod is slightly more than an M but not yet an MF in tempo. The action curve is MC so this rod will be perceived as fairly soft but, since the action curve is steeper than the previous Yellow Line rod, it sums up to being faster.
Evotec 590-3/MF/MC:- MF tells you this rod has a medium fast tempo roughly in the middle of the range. The action curve is MC meaning that is also in the middle of the range so this is a rod that many will perceive as having average values however, when compared to the previous rod, the Multi 590-4, it is somewhat faster in tempo with nearly the same curve.
Multi PWR 590-3 MF+/MC:- MF+ indicates a medium tempo just below the F and the action curve is is MC. This rod will feel relatively fast and, for some, it might feel a bit stiff and in comparison to the previous rod, the Evotec 590-3, it is certainly one notch faster whilst bending in the same way. A rod with power but not as stiff as the stiffest.
Evotec 590-3/F/TC:- F for fast tempo and TC for tip curve. This is a rod that for many will feel relatively stiff and fast. When compared to the previous four it is the stiffest and fastest rod and if you use the same line and casting tempo as when you use the Yellow Line rod then not much will happen with a rod like this. For this rod to bend you need speed when casting and rods with these values aren’t suited for “gentle fishing”. It is, however, a rod for those who can and like to cast longer than everyone else around them!